Shortly after Costco opened its doors in Edmonton in the mid 80’s, my Mom purchased Resinite all purpose packing film. Really it’s just plastic wrap. The roll 2500 feet long and 11 inches wide has been in our family since that time.
It is not pretty having lost its luster and serrated edge long ago. The box is falling apart, likely weighted down by all the memories its trying to contain. If the house was on fire, it is on the short list of items I would grab. Let me tell you why.
When Mom purchased this item, I laughed stating she now had a lifetime supply. Ironically, she did, though the present question is how many lifetimes? And whose?
Mom died in 2003 and as my siblings and I were sorting through her things I laughed when I saw the wrap, and shared the memory with them. We all had a good chuckle, then they insisted it was now mine.
Later that year, I moved into my new home and the wrap moved in too. Most days it wrapped mundane things, chiefly leftovers as I struggled to learn to cook for one instead of four. The following year it wrapped sandwiches for lunches, and rarely leftovers as my daughters moved in with me. There was much entertaining for family, friends and later neighbours as I opened my home to the next part of life.
I met my soon to be husband and with him came more friends, family, entertaining, lunches, and our wedding A few years later, we hosted a wedding shower for my youngest followed by her wedding reception. We had a 50th wedding anniversary for his parents and a catered event for coworkers. We hosted birthdays for friends and family, life events and special occasions and at every turn the wrap was there.
It’s used every Christmas when my sister, her family and mine get together. It’s there every Easter when we gather with our grandchildren, great nieces and nephews for the annual Easter egg hunt. It’s there on Valentine’s Day as John and I prepare a special dinner to celebrate our love. It’s there every family birthday covering the leftover cake, or a care package to send with the girls to their homes. It’s there every BBQ in the summer covering the steaks and prized potato salad that Mom taught me how to make so long ago.
It preserves our memories too. Now in addition to wrapping up today’s memories I can’t help but remember all the times it was used by Mom. Vividly I remember her wrapping up tea biscuits after spending a day baking with my Grandma. It was used to wrap up the dishes she brought to family events, birthdays, BBQ’s, holidays. It was put to good use wrapping all the Christmas baking we made together every year.
I’m almost afraid to see how much remains. These days I use it sparingly, partially to preserve the wrap itself and partially opting for other methods that are more convenient, bags, plastic or glass containers. My parents both died young. I think often of all that they missed and will miss and yet on the days when I pull down the ragged cardboard box, they are there, silent witnesses to life that continues to unfold.